NEWS COVERAGE PERIOD FROM JAN 27 TO FEB 02, 2020
SENATE SUB-PANEL FOR ACTION AGAINST NAECHS LAND GRABBERS
By Our Correspondent Published: January 28, 2020
ISLAMABAD: A senate sub-panel on Monday called for conducting a detailed probe into irregularities and taking action against all those who have usurped the rights of allottees of the National Assembly Employees Cooperative Housing Society (NAECHS).
This was directed during a meeting of Senate Functional Committee on Government Assurances’ sub-committee. The committee was convened with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Senator Fida Muhammad in the chair.
During Monday’s, the sub-panel took up the issue of plots allotted in the NAECHS, in Zone V of the federal capital in Chocha of Darwala Road. Fida noted that at the last meeting of the sub-committee, the NAECHS had been directed to provide a complete, authentic list of allottees so that sequence of precedence may be determined. The society had even promised to submit the required documents within a week but it failed to honour that commitment.
The PTI senator enquired about the reasons for this lax attitude and termed them mere delaying tactics to protect those involved from being taken to task.
He also took strong notice of the lack of progress on work to provide gas and electricity connections in the area.
The sub-committee was told that work on the provision of gas and electricity in the area was delayed because the layout plan of the society had been cancelled by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
However, officials from the CDA explained to the sub-committee that the LOP had been cancelled because they discovered that land which had been earmarked for a park and graveyard had been converted into commercial plots.
A probe had revealed that the developed plots of the society have been forcibly occupied despite the presence of guards. The sub-committee asserted that this indicates that there was some internal involvement or collusion which must be investigated thoroughly.
Fida stressed the need for conducting an internal inquiry into the matter and a list of all those involved along with designations and violations committed must be submitted to the sub-panel. He further asserted that responsibility needed to be affixed to ensure no such irregularities are committed in the future. He added that details of court references must be presented to the committee as well.
The sub-committee subsequently directed that a complete investigation of the case is conducted and a report must be submitted to the Committee, within 15 days, while Parliamentary Affairs Ministry Joint Secretary Ashfaq Ghumman will oversee the matter. Thereafter, a decision will be taken whether the case should be handed over to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) or the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Senator Azam Khan Swati recommended that strong directions must be sent out from the sub-committee that original allottees of the society must be facilitated on priority, as several people have been ruined due to the injustice.
Further, the NAECHS was directed to provide a complete, authentic list of allottees so that the sequence of precedence may be determined.
Swati went on to assert that no project must commence without a layout plan from the CDA.
Allottees present in the meeting requested the convenor of the committee that compaction work should be carried out on plots for which possession has already been given to allottees, so that construction work may begin.
The committee meeting was attended by Senator Swati, Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem, Senator Professor Dr Mehr Taj Roghani and senior officers from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, CDA and Islamabad District Administration, NAECHS officials and other relevant officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2020.
SC DIRECTS SINDH GOVERNMENT TO CANCEL ILLEGAL ALLOTMENTS OF FOREST LAND
By RECORDER REPORT on January 29, 2020
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Sindh government to cancel illegal allotments of forest land in the province. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah resumed the hearing of the case regarding the forest land in Sindh.
The court directed the forest department to acquire grabbed land and cancel all allotments in the province. It also directed the forest department to implement its orders and submit report in the court, besides seeking a satellite image of the forests land by the department.
The court may also summon chief minister Sindh as Chief Justice said, “Why not Chief Minister Sindh be summoned,” as all the forest land in the province has been occupied. The court said that ministers and MPAs had occupied government lands in Sukkur and the provincial government is acting as a silent spectator.
“Sindh has large number of forests land measuring 5,000 acre and the forests department employees are also involved in the land grabbing,” it said. The Chief Justice said that Bahria Town also grabbed forest land. He asked whether Bahria Town is being established in Nawabshah.
The counsel said that Bahria Town has been established on 3,134 acres. The Chief Justice asked if Bahria Town has also occupied land. He said that Bahria Town owner was acknowledging on TV that he was selling public land and added Sindh government has closed its eyes.
The Chief Justice asked the Sindh forest department official whether he was a representative of Bahria Town. The counsel said that he was the representative of forest department. The Chief Justice asked the representative why he was advocating for Bahria Town. People from the department are also involved in illegal occupation of forest land, he added. The hearing was adjourned for two months.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020
ISLAMABAD’S LAND RECORD WILL BE COMPUTERISED IN SIX MONTHS, PM TOLD
Kashif Abbasi Updated January 31, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan was on Thursday informed that the land record of Islamabad would be computerised in six months as updating of the record was in progress.
The prime minister chaired a meeting to get a briefing from city managers on law and order, development projects, health and education initiatives in the capital city.
The meeting was attended by Planning Minister Asad Umar, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan, MNA Raja Khurram Nawaz, Chief Commissioner and CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed, Inspector General of Police Amir Zulfiqar Khan and others.
The chief commissioner briefed the prime minister about the initiatives being taken by the capital administration and the CDA.
He said in next six months the land record of Islamabad would be computerised, adding the process to update the land record (maintaining jama bandis) was underway and jama bandis of 28 Mouzas (real estate) had been completed.
Process to update land record of 28 mouzas underway
It may be noted that in the past efforts were also made to computerise the land record but without any progress.
The chief commissioner, however, told the prime minister that work was in progress to update the remaining Mouzas after which the record would be made available online.
He said the Islamabad capital Territory (ICT) had also significantly improved its revenue and all subordinate offices were being monitored through CCTV cameras to improve governance and stop corrupt practices.
The premier was also informed that a biometric system had been introduced for land transfer process and for the first time the deputy commissioner had fixed the rate of land in rural area to determine its value for taxation. The meeting was told that after introduction of the rates it would be difficult for anyone to avoid the tax.
The prime minister was informed by SAPM Ali Nawaz and the CDA chairman that various development projects such as construction of G-7, G-8 underpass, Burma Bridge, Attaturk Avenue and expansion of CDA Hospital were under progress.
Talking about the reform initiatives at the Capital Development Authority (CDA), the prime minister said these initiatives should be aimed at providing best civic facilities to the citizens besides contributing to economic well-being of the residents.The education minister briefed the prime minister about the initiatives being taken by his ministry to bring an improvement in the education sector.
The adviser on CDA affairs highlighted the status of rural health centres in Islamabad.
The prime minister directed immediate completion of the process for identification of required resources for education and health sectors to make the existing structures vibrant.
The IGP briefed the prime minister about law and order situation and said crime rate in the capital city saw a significant decrease of 18pc in 2019. He said Islamabad was now the 66th safest cities of the world. Various initiatives have been taken to control crime and provide speedy relief to citizens, he added.
Appreciating the improved law and order situation, the prime minister directed for more improvement and said the capital should be a model city from all aspects. He also stressed the need to ensure protection to the weak sections of society.
Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2020
NEWS COVERAGE PERIOD FROM JAN 20 TO JAN 26, 2020
293.56 ACRES OF RAILWAYS LAND RETRIEVED ACROSS COUNTRY
By RECORDER REPORT on January 20, 2020
Pakistan Railways had retrieved 293.56 acres land from the encroachers through an anti encroachment operation across the country during the period of eleven months. “The encroachment operation is launched with the assistance of railway police and district administration of the provincial government,” an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP.
Giving a divisional wise breakup, he said that Pakistan railways had retrieved 143.45 acres from Punjab; 80.54 acres form Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 59.8 acres from Sindh and 9.77 acres from Balochistan.
He said the Geographic Information System (GIS) based survey had also been conducted under the project of computerization of railway land record in which all the encroachments and leases etc had been recorded in the Pakistan Railway Land Management Information System (PRLMS) software.
The official said the database was under verification and being compiled. To a question, he said P-Way labour was not being allowed to work on Khost-Sibi section since January 2018 by FC Balochistan and laying of ballast from 1 to 134 kilometer was also held up due to non-provision of security.
He said the contractor; M/S National Logistics Cell (NLC) had to face difficulties due to non-availability of road approach to the site of work and on account of law and order situation as the area was a no go.
The official said the track rehabilitation work which was being carried out by division was suspended due to security reasons and the work would take six months subject to availability of proper protection by law enforcing agencies.
He said in this regard a meeting had been held by the Divisional Superintendent, Pakistan Railways, Quetta and Superintendent Railways Police, Quetta with Chief Secretary Balochistan.
The official said the Chief Secretary assured that request of Pakistan Railways for provision of sufficient security would be taken in earnest and arrangement through Levies would be made available on sustainable grounds and on the mutually agreed terms between the government of Balochistan and Pakistan Railways.
Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2020
LAND AND OWNERSHIP: SEVERAL SAVED FROM EVICTION AFTER THREE DECADES OF HOLDING LAND
By Razzak Abro Published: January 26, 2020
KARACHI: Home to over 16 million people, the densely-populated metropolis of Karachi is faced with an acute urban housing crisis, reported Bloomberg magazine in December, 2018. A year later, when the provincial government announced the lease expiry of thousands of acres of land once allotted to the people of Sindh, many leaseholders found themselves on the verge of eviction and subsequent homelessness.
According to sources, although the land had previously been allotted on a 30 year lease for poultry farming and agricultural purposes, the acute housing crisis in the city had led several leaseholders to also build homes and settle on the allotted lands. With the lease due to expire at the start of this year and the government unable to renew the tenure following a Supreme Court ban, droves of people stood at the risk of losing their land after three decades of ownership.
However, upon the intercession of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s elected representatives from Malir district, a decision to not cancel the allotment was reached by the Department of Land Utilisation (LU), saving the leaseholders from losing their land. As per PPP representatives, evicting land owners would have created resentment among the people as well as the supporters of the party, so instead, the cooperation of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was sought to rather cancel the Rubkari and let the allotment remain.
According to Malir district deputy commissioner Shahzad Fazal Abbasi, Rubkari refers to an intimation letter which informs the people concerned that their request for the renewal of leases will be considered once the Supreme Court permits it. While talking to The Express Tribune, an official at the LU department said that ordering the cancellation of Rubkari was necessary for the department.
“Technically, the issuance of Rubkari in the first place means that the apex court will eventually lift the ban. However, the department cannot prematurely decide on if and when that will be,” he explained.
“Withdrawing allotments or acquiring the leased out land would have proven to be a complicated task for the government as well, as most of this land is being utilised for residential purposes by the leaseholders. Thus PPP representatives from Malir district instead persuaded the CM against the cancellation of these allotments,” the source further revealed.
A PPP MPA from Malir, Sajid Jokhio, told The Express Tribune that CM Shah had agreed to grant an extension to old allotments. According to him, the chief minister gave this assurance at a meeting with the party’s elected representatives from Malir district. “The chief minister has also issued the necessary directives to the LU department on the issue,” he added.
The Sindh government has been allotting thousands of acres of government land throughout the province on 30-year leases at different times in the past. The land has mostly gone to people close to the ruling party and those close to bureaucrats for utilisation as agriculture and farming land.
Most of this falls in Malir district. A reason for this allotment in the district, which borders Thatta district on one side and Jamshoro district on another, was the vast vacant fertile land which would prove optimal for agricultural purposes.
According to Jokhio, around 15,000 acres of land had been allotted in Malir on a 30-year lease. However, people holding the land had been utilising it for various purposes, which the signed lease did not mention. In a letter issued to the deputy commissioner on December 11, 2018, the LU secretary had clearly mentioned that some of the land provided for agricultural and poultry farming was being utilised for property business. “In some cases allottees are involved in the sale/purchase of the 30-year lease, which is illegal and causes billions of rupees in loss to the national exchequer by occupying and raising construction over the land,” the LU letter had mentioned.
Hence, following the Supreme Court’s order, the LU department had to cancel the allotment of over 7,701 acres of land for non-utilisation in December 2018, some 5,741 acres of which was in Malir.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2020.
NEWS COVERAGE PERIOD FROM JAN 13 TO JAN 19, 2020
CDA, SURVEY OF PAKISTAN TO DIGITISE CAPITAL’S LAND RECORDS
By Our Correspondent Published: January 13, 2020
ISLAMABAD: To digitise land record system of the federal capital, an agreement has been signed between its top civic authority and the Survey of Pakistan (SoP).
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on the survey and mapping jobs planned by the authority for the development of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Under the agreement, experts of Survey of Pakistan (SoP) will conduct a complete survey of the area within the remits of ICT and prepare a Cadastral Map for CDA. The civic authority will use this map to develop the area falling within the limits of the city and as per its mandate of planning and developing Islamabad.
While the SoP has been providing services to CDA in surveying and mapping the city since 1960, a comprehensive map of the capital had not been developed, particularly on demarcating the boundary between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. That only happened in recent years during a court case on the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP).
The salient feature of the MoU suggest that all survey and mapping jobs of the CDA, consisting of, but not limited to, demarcation and digitization of CDA’s land, cadastral mapping of Islamabad, demarcation of intersecting points (IPs) of sectors on the ground, and topographic survey before development of any sector and scheme, L-sections and cross-sections of roads, demarcation of boundary, calculation of built-up area in acquired sectors for awarding compensation to locals by CDA, provision, repair and maintenance of survey equipment, will all be referred and assigned to SoP.
The SoP will provide satellite imagery or Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data where required by CDA after consultation from SoP. Digital data will be provided to CDA in WGS-84 and UTM projection.
Moreover, the provision of the cadastral map will not only help the authority to upgrade the land management system of the federal capital but will also facilitate the CDA map out the land which it has already acquired and properties it may acquire in the future. It will also speed up the usually lengthy procedures, thereby vastly improving service delivery.
The MoU between CDA and Survey of Pakistan will also help the CDA in acquiring land to develop new sectors in Islamabad, as well as the correct determination of built-up properties (BuP) to award compensation.
Moreover, the MoU will digitise the land records in Islamabad. Thereafter, the CDA will have a complete database about the size of land, the nature of the land, approved nature of use, and who their owners are. The CDA hopes this will make it easy in dealing with land disputes and other issues such as changing of land revenue record, submission of counterfeited or forged documents, and frauds cases.
The data collected will also help and facilitate the planning and development of Islamabad in various mega projects.
CDA will also provide all the required and necessary support to the experts and surveyors of SoP for the completion of the survey. In this regard, CDA will also extend logistic support as well as its offices during field surveys.
SoP will arrange Training of CDA Staff on survey instruments such as total station, Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) at Survey Training Institute (STI) in Islamabad though for a fee.
The MoU is initially for three years, while it could be further extended upon the mutual consent of both parties.
Earlier, the Islamabad Development Working Party (IDWP) had approved a project to develop a new land revenue records management system in the federal capital. The IDWP, which had met after a gap of five years had reviewed four projects worth Rs1.25 billion and approved three of them for Rs1.19 billion.
This included the land records system.
During the meeting, ICT Administration Chief Commissioner and CDA Chairman Aamer Ali Ahmed had suggested that a year was too long a period to complete a project so crucial for the city. He had subsequently directed to complete the project within six months and had suggested that help can be taken from the Punjab Land Revenue Authority, the National Database Regulatory Authority (NADRA) as well as from the National Information Technology Board (NITB).
Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2020.
CANNOT GIVE FERTILE LANDS TO BUILD HOUSING SOCIETIES: SC
By Our Correspondent Published: January 14, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The apex court on Monday remarked that it is not possible to give away the fertile lands of people to the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) so that they can build a housing scheme on it.
This was remarked as a four-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC), headed by Justice Mushir Alam, heard a case regarding the acquisition of land in the Tamma and Moorian villages by the now-defunct Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF).
At the outset of the hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked how could the government hand over fertile lands, owned by people, to the SCBA for setting up a housing scheme.
SCBA counsel Rasheed Rizvi argued that the land procured for the housing scheme was completely barren and offered a tour of the site for the bench.
Justice Ahsan remarked that the real question before them relates to the Land Acquisition Act.
He further asked SCBA representative whether it was possible to procure this land according to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Ordinance and whether a private firm could do so as well.
The counsel replied that the laws, on which other respondents in the case were relying on, did not apply to them and commented that the land could be procured if two dozen members of the private firm were renowned.
In this regard, he stated that as many as 2,800 SCBA members are widely known.
Justice Ahsan, however, remarked that cases against the verdict of high courts and other courts were being heard by the related forums and that the SC has clarified in its orders that government institutions should work according to the law.
The case was then adjourned until Tuesday.
In its previous hearing, the apex court had noted that the FGEHF cannot build structures in violation of the master plan of the federal capital. Residents of the Tamma and Moorian villages had challenged the acquisition of land for the SCBA housing society in court, claiming that agricultural land falling in Zone IV of Islamabad cannot be acquired for the development of a housing society.
The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) is divided into five zones under the master plan and the geographical distribution and its boundaries were identified in the Islamabad Capital Territory (Zoning) Regulations 1992.
Land of Mauza Tama and Moorian fall in Zone IV and as per Regulation 4 (A) (b) it can only be used for the development of institutional projects of national importance, sports and recreation structures, greenbelts, orchards, farming schemes, nurseries and for the rehabilitation of affected people.
However, when the CDA and FGEHF tried to evict the locals of Mauza Tamma and Mauza Moorian in October last year, the villagers retaliated violently. Two policemen were injured due to brick batting by the residents. However, police limited their response to baton charge and tear gas practising restraint to avoid any casualty.
Subsequently, SC had stopped the Islamabad administration from carrying out operation regarding the land acquisition of Tama and Moorian for SCBA’s housing society.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2020.
TYCOON MALIK RIAZ BOOKED IN RS100BN LAND SCAM
Malik Asad January 16, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau on Wednesday filed a reference against real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and many others for illegal allotment of an amenity plot in Karachi’s Clifton area where the Bahria Town built Pakistan’s tallest building, Bahria Icon Tower.
The reference is said to be an offshoot of the fake accounts case against former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. It is also a first reference in which Malik Riaz, the chairman of the Bahria Town, is nominated. NAB also nominated his son-in-law Zain Malik as one of the suspects.
Other suspects are former Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Yousaf Baloch, former adviser to Sindh chief minister Dr Dinshaw Anklesaria, former Sindh chief secretary Abdul Subhan Memon, former director general-parks Liaquat Qaimkhani, Waqas Raffat, Ghulam Arif, Khawaja Shafique, Jamil Baloch, Afzal Aziz, Syed Mohammad Shah, Khurram Arif, Abdul Karim Paleejo, Khawaja Badee uz Zaman and others.
Contrary to its past practice, NAB — which is otherwise very prompt when issuing a press release even in the stages of inquiry and investigation mainly against opposition leaders — this time did not issue any statement or share any detail about the reference with the media.
However, the reference that NAB filed before the registrar of the accountability court stated that the accused persons caused a loss of over Rs100 billion to the national exchequer through illegal allotment of an amenity plot related to Bagh Ibne Qasim, where Bahria Town constructed its Icon Tower.
NAB alleges Bahria Town built Pakistan’s tallest building on Karachi’s Bagh Ibne Qasim land
The skyscraper is located near the coast of the Arabian Sea in Karachi and it includes 62 storeys with 40-storey mixed-used buildings.
After scrutiny, the registrar office will forward the reference to the administrative judge of the accountability courts, Mohammad Bashir.
Last year, former Sindh works and services secretary Sajjad Abbasi, who was arrested in June 2019 for his alleged involvement in the Icon Tower case, became an approver.
In a statement to the court, he said that he sold an amenity plot to Dr Anklesaria while he was working as the executive district officer-revenue. He claimed that Dr Anklesaria then sold that plot to Malik Riaz, who constructed the Bahria Icon Tower there.
It may be mentioned that during a hearing of the post-arrest bail of Ms Talpur in the fake accounts case, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked the investigation officer of the case as to why those who were involved in Rs750 million transactions through fake accounts were never arrested. The IO said that the Bahria Town chairman was on top of the list and NAB was trying to trace his and other suspects’ whereabouts.
Expressing his displeasure over the lethargy of NAB, the CJ observed, “This is how NAB exercises power to arrest people […] NAB does not have unfettered power of arrest.” Later, the court granted bail to Ms Talpur.
It may be recalled here that former Karachi mayor and Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal and others are also facing a NAB reference regarding alleged illegal allotment of around 5,500 square yards of commercial land to Bahria Town for a multi-storey building.
When contacted, senior Bahria Town official retired Col Khalil claimed that the real estate firm had purchased the land in a transparent manner.
He said that the case did not belong to the fake accounts case since all the payments regarding purchase of the land were made through cheques from genuine and verified accounts.
Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2020
BALOCHISTAN TO GIVE 750 ACRES LAND IN PASNI FOR SHIPYARD’S CONSTRUCTION
The Newspaper’s Staff Correspondent January 18, 2020
QUETTA: The Balochistan cabinet on Friday approved allotment of 750 acres of land to the Ministry of Defence Production for construction of a shipyard in Pasni city of Gwadar district.
The Balochistan government will allot the land to the ministry for construction of the shipyard on the of basis 30 per cent equity. The provincial share will be 20-30pc in the project.
“Around 10,000 jobs will be created in the shipyard, which would help in providing jobs to Balochistan’s youths,” Liaquat Ali Shahwani, spokesman for the Balochistan government, said.
The cabinet meeting, which continued for around eight hours, discussed about 50 agenda points. The cabinet reviewed the proposed amendment in the Local Government Act, 2010, and decided that the proposed amendment would be introduced after giving it final shape before holding of next local bodies election in Balochistan.
The meeting agreed in principle that local bodies institutions would be establish on three levels — Union Council, Municipal Committee/Municipal Corporation and Metropolitan Corporation in the province.
A sub-committee will be constituted for giving final shape to all related matters in this regard. The committee will hold meetings with opposition parties to take them into confidence on the local bodies issues.
The provincial government would allocate enough funds for the local bodies in the provincial Public Sector Development Programme that would be distributed through the provincial finance commission. A check and balance mechanism would also be introduced.
The provincial cabinet also approved the draft bill of the Balochistan Cadet Colleges Act, 2019. It also gave approval for establishment of a separate board of technical and vocational training institute.
It decided that powers would be transferred to the grass root level in the education department. The cabinet also approved transfer power and authorities to primary schools.
Transfers and postings of government employees also came under discussion. It was decided that transfer and postings and matters of conducting inquiries and other issues would be decided by divisional and district officers. The power for transfer and postings of government employees will also be transferred to divisional and district officers. The Balochistan cabinet under Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani also gave approval for establishment of a provincial disaster management commission.
Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2020
NEWS COVERAGE PERIOD FROM DEC 30 TO JAN 05,2020
77,513 KANALS BENAMI PROPERTIES DETECTED IN PINDI DIVISION
Aamir Yasin Updated January 01, 2020
RAWALPINDI: As many as 77,513 kanals Benami (unregistered) properties worth Rs7.384 billion have been detected in the Rawalpindi division and their cases referred to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for further investigations in the light of Benami Act 2017.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Revenue Rizwan Qadeer told Dawn that Rawalpindi had become the first division in the country to initiate action against Benami properties by referring 49 cases and six references to the FBR for legal action against suspects, including PML-N Senator Chaudhry Tanveer and some private companies.
When contacted, Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood said 49 suspicious properties were identified by the district administrations of Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal and Jhelum till Dec 31, 2019. Besides, 22 Benami properties were identified by local citizens and reported to the provincial government and FBR.
He said so far six references regarding 7,000 kanals Benami land had been filed with FBR and these belonged to Senator Chaudhry Tanveer. The land was purchased in the names of his gunmen and servants.
Mr Mehmood said Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed deputy commissioners across the country to find Benami properties under their administrative control as they were custodians of the district revenue record.
He said under the law, districts had to send cases to the FBR for legal action. He said taxation deputy commissioners would further check the ownership and appeals would be submitted to the taxation commissioners. However, if he rejects objections the appeals could be filed before high courts.
The commissioner said the government had formed three zones of FBR to handle Benami property cases in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. The Islamabad office will check such properties in Rawalpindi division as well as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while Lahore will check cases of Punjab and Balochistan and Karachi will be responsible for cases from Sindh and some parts of Balochistan.
Details of properties were shared with FBR to bring the owners into the tax net after registering the properties in their names.
Tehsildars, patwaris and girdawars have been asked to verify properties registered in their offices and carry out surveys.
The commissioner said applications received by the government regarding Benami properties at the chief minister’s complaint cell were being processed as per SOPs issued by the government.
“Rawalpindi has 14 suspicious Benami properties in rural areas measuring 16,009 kanals worth about Rs2.98 million, Attock 22 rural properties measuring 42,490 kanals worth Rs3.736m, Jhelum three rural properties measuring 17,447 kanals worth Rs0.591m and rural areas of Chakwal 10 properties measuring 1,567 kanals worth Rs67,219m,” added Additional Deputy Commissioner Revenue Rizwan Qadeer.
He said Senator Tanveer’s 7,000 kanals were detected in Sangral, Pind Malu, Ghangar, Dhodian and Ladian villages of Rawalpindi which were in the names of his driver, a gunman and other servants.
He said the district administration was tasked with identifying suspected Benami properties.
In Rawalpindi division, till Dec 31, 2019, as many as 49 suspicious Benami properties were identified and sent to FBR for initiating proceedings under the Benami Act 2017.
An officer after consulting complete revenue record, registered deeds, wealth statements and other relevant documents prepares a reference to be filed before the adjudicating authority within 90 days.
“So far across Pakistan, six references have been filed before adjudicating authority and all these are in the Rawalpindi district/division,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Sibtain Kazmi told Dawn that a ban had been imposed on the sale and purchase of properties in five mouzas (villages) of Rawalpindi district – Sangral, Pind Zahoor, Ghangar, Sihal and Ladian.
“Land measuring 5,149 kanals and four marlas has been attached,” he said.
Meanwhile, the commissioner reviewed progress of work on detection of Benami properties in the four districts and directed deputy commissioners to clear their areas from such properties.
Deputy Commissioner Saifullah Dogar, Additional Deputy Commissioner Rana Rizwan Qadeer, AC Revenue Syed Sibtain Kazmi, Income Tax Officer Mohammad Fazil Mushtaq attended the meeting. The deputy commissioners of Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal attended the meeting via a video link.
Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2020
OVER 800 KANALS RETRIEVED FROM LAND GRABBERS IN LAKKI
A Correspondent January 01, 2020
LAKKI MARWAT: The district administration retrieved over 889-kanals tract of land of graveyards in Abakhel union council during anti-encroachment operation on Tuesday.
The employees of tehsil municipal administration, local government and revenue department took part in the operation. A contingent of police was also present to avert any resistance by the land grabbers.
The local elders had complained about occupation of graveyards’ land by people during a khuli kutchery convened by Deputy Commissioner Jehangir Azam Wazir over a month ago.
Mr Wazir had directed the revenue officials to demarcate the graveyards’ land and initiate action against illegal occupants after fulfilling legal formalities.
The land grabbers had grown wheat and gram crops on the illegally occupied land that were destroyed with the help of tractors and heavy machinery. Other encroachments were also removed with excavator machine.
The municipal employees also fixed concrete demarcation stones around the boundary of graveyards.
Mr Wazir visited the area and inspected anti-encroachment operation. He said that the operation was launched on the directives of provincial government to clear state-owned land of encroachments.
Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner visited shelter homes in Naurang and Lakki towns on Monday night.
The district administration has established the two shelter homes for deserving and homeless people on the directives of government. Mr Wazir directed the officials concerned to take care of the people staying in the shelter homes and ensure provision of basic needs to them.
KILLED: Two persons were killed when their motorcycle was hit by a vehicle on the busy Indus Highway on Monday night.
The accident occurred near Manjiwala Chowk in the limits of Shaheed Asmatullah Khan Khattak police station of Naurang town apparently due to heavy fog. The deceased motorcyclists were identified as Hamza Ali, a resident of Gandi Khankhel, and Shafqatullah of Nar Mohammad Ghaznikhel.
The bodies were shifted to a hospital in Naurang and then handed over to relatives after fulfilling formalities. Police said that they had registered a case against unidentified driver and began investigation.
Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2020
RS20 BILLION PROJECT TO ACQUIRE LAND REFERRED TO ECNEC
OUR CORRESPONDENT January 02, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Wednesday approved eight projects worth Rs13 billion and recommended five projects worth Rs112.2 billion to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for consideration.
The CDWP referred the summary pertaining to Rs20 billion required for acquisition of land and resettlement for construction of $14 billion Diamer-Bhasha Damat for final approval to ECNEC.
A food and agriculture project named the “Gwadar Lasbela Livelihoods Support Project-“, worth Rs12.328 billion, was referred to ECNEC.
A health project named the “Punjab Human Capital Investment Project” worth Rs32000 million was also referred to ECNEC.
The meeting also approved a mass media project titled “Construction of Auditorium at Pakistan Academy of Letters” worth Rs110.469 million.
The CDWP also approved a project for the improvement of livelihood and well-being of female home-based workers (FHBWs) in Sindh’s informal economic sector worth Rs541.086 million.
Similarly, the meeting approved a project titled “Procurement of latest Printing Machines for Modernization of Survey of Pakistan” worth Rs483.639 million.
Four projects on Physical Planning and Housing were also presented in the meeting. The first, titled “Construction of Eastern Wastewater Treatment Plant (44 MGD) of /Faisalabad City (Phase-1)” and worth Rs19071 million, was referred to ECNEC and the second project, titled “Promoting Sustainable Urban development through Resilient Resources Management with a participatory Approach in Mansehra” and worth Rs1040.6 million, was approved in the meeting.
Two projects of the Interior Division- “Construction of Admin Block Magazine Quarter Guard, Barracks, MT Shed, Horse Stable and Parade Ground in Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad” worth Rs280.848 million, and “Construction of Police Barracks (100 men each) in Sectors F-7, F-8 and G-10 in Islamabad” worth Rs185.416 million were approved by the CDWP.
1so, a Transport & Communication project named “Construction of Bridge over River Ravi at Mal Fatyana District in Toba Tek Singh” worth Rs1910.737 million was approved by the CDWP>
Three projects related to water resources were also presented in the meeting. The first-“Naulong Dam Project”-worth Rs8465 million was referred to ECNEC.
The second, titled “Project Readiness Financing for Punjab Water Resources Management “ and worth Rs1276.324 million. was approved in the meeting. The third project, the “Diamer Bhasha Dam Project Acquisition of Land and Resettlement” worth Rs20,337 million, was referred to ECNEC.